At WordCamp Buffalo 2016, Ben Dunkle and I gave a talk named “A Custom Theme in 30 Minutes“.
You can view the Slides for A Custom Theme in 30 Minutes. You can also check out the Github repository of the files of the theme we created live at the event. The theme has many comments added to help show you what certain sections of code do.
Despite the clickbaity topic title, the goal of the talk is meant to show folks who have some HTML/CSS knowledge that building a WordPress theme out of a static website isn’t impossible, in fact it isn’t that hard.
As with any CMS or framework, there are a lot of best practices that we don’t even have time to get into in our talk, but the goal isn’t to show you how to build the ultimate theme. It is to show that you can and should give building one a try if it’s the type of work you’re interested in doing. Don’t be intimidated by WordPress, its Template Hierarchy, or any of the other things that can demoralize someone first jumping in.
Even if you’re not a Designer or Developer who builds your own, but uses pre-built themes, this process can be a huge help to you.
This theme was made in 40 minutes. That said, it takes many hours from here to really build all of the functionality we’ll want. The hard part is done though, getting over the fear and actually building something on your own. From here you can use trial and error to continue building on top of this theme, or even better start from scratch on your own.